Safe Environments assist home owners by providing asbestos surveys for development applications as required by Sydney Councils. Many houses in Sydney contain asbestos and care must be taken when refurbishing or renovating to ensure people are not exposed to asbestos related health risks.
The purpose of asbestos surveys during the development process is to ensure that the builder is aware of the potential asbestos risks. If work is conducted on the building and people are not aware that there is asbestos present, asbestos exposure may occur, leaving the home owner and builder potentially liable for litigation and compensation.
All builders conducting renovations or major refurbishments should also ensure that an asbestos survey has been conducted. While it may seem to be an added expense to the cost of a renovation, the asbestos survey seeks to protect the health of everyone involved throughout the process.
An asbestos survey must be carried out by a competent person, usually an occupational hygienist or an approved person by council. Some Sydney councils provide a list of approved asbestos surveyors to assist people requiring an asbestos survey.
There are three types of surveys that may be conducted:
- Type 1 - Location and assessment surveys (presumptive asbestos surveys)
- Type 2 - Location and assessment surveys (sampling asbestos surveys)
- Type 3 – Full access sampling and identification surveys (pre demolition/major refurbishment asbestos surveys)
The type of asbestos survey will depend on whether the home is occupied, whether the survey is a part of a feasibility study to assess the degree of asbestos and the building elements that are likely to be disturbed during the renovation. If a full access asbestos survey is not undertaken, an additional survey may be required to include partial demolition to gain access into wall cavities. This type of asbestos survey is intended to comply with regard to asbestos, with the hazardous materials auditing procedure (clause 1.6) of AS 2601 Demolition of Structures.